The Vulturas Deliver Punk Rock Sermon at Commissary Lounge
A love of punk rock, it sparks conversations, binds us to perfect strangers, and gets us through mondain workdays with the promise of the time we get in our car at the end of the day, and just listen to our favorite band.
Last Saturday I stood in a Subway sandwich shop, line out the door, waiting to fill my daughter’s lunch order and secretly questioning “why am I here in this suburban hell?”. A man in line behind me tapped me on the shoulder and excitedly exclaimed, “I love that band! They’re my favorite!” It took me a moment, and a quick glance at my shirt, to remind myself what I was wearing; Rancid. I had seen them about a month and a half ago at Observatory. The shirt was new and on its maiden voyage out of the house. I smiled and agreed that Rancid is fantastic, then I returned to my spot in line to wait, though this time, with a smile on my face. He pushed on, “It’s funny. My favorite band and I’ve only seen them three times. Why? Why have I only seen them three times? I haven’t seen a show in too long”. It was on! He wanted to talk shows! I shared the Observatory show and several other ‘best shows ever’ with Rancid. We laughed and bonded… I knew what he needed… he needed a night out at a show! That’s when I offered it up, “Matt Freeman is playing in Orange County tonight with The Vulturas! You can see Matt from three feet away and The Vulturas are great! You’ll love them!” Then, it was my turn to order, and I was out the door. I figured that was the end of that.
Fast forward, my husband and I were settled in at the bar at Commissary Lounge, watching the opening band and enjoying our night out. As we moved ourselves into position for The Vulturas I saw a man waiting, excited, laughing, chatting with the people around him. He looked familiar, but I could not place him. The minute Matt Freeman hit that first note I saw the man jump into action, moving around the perimeter of the pit, opening it up wider and wider, smiling the entire time. The third time he approached me and gently leaned his back into me, waiting for me to give him that push back into the pit it hit me… I knew this man, this very elated man, he was the man from Subway earlier that day. Delighted I watched him work the pit and everyone on the outside of it. He coaxed people in, bumped against people for a push and nodded at them as if to say, “Look at me, brother! This is awesome!” taking his place as the leader of the pit. When lead singer, Louie joined him in the pit the man hugged him with glee, proclaiming, “Fuck yeah man!”
It was the first show back for The Vulturas since the COVID lockdown in March of 2020 and their last show before the shutdowns was at Commissary Lounge. In fact, it was my last show before the shutdowns as well. Louie had taken the stage back in 2020 wearing a hazmat suit. He had been spraying the crowd with Lysol, he made a grim prediction of the months of quarantine ahead. Saturday night Louie took to the same stage in a Catholic priest shirt and collar. Making fun of himself, Louie proclaimed (and I paraphrase), [I closed the world down the last time we played. Maybe this time I can take down the Catholic church]. I don’t know about that Louie, but what I do know is that you made the night of everyone in that bar.
As for Matt Freeman… Matt is the most talented bass player in punk rock. He is professional and impressive in every band he joins on stage. Matt is gracious in person, giving of himself on stage, and impresses me time and time again with his skill. In fact, The Vulturas are jam packed with talent… the shredding guitarist Rob Milucky (The Devils Brigade, The Hunns, The Pushers, the Grabbers), and audio guru Eric Fuller on drums. As for the Subway guy, I think he may have a new favorite band with The Vulturas. A love of punk rock sparks conversations, creates brotherhood, and brings people together. It can transform us from a mild mannered “Subway guy” to a punk rock “Pit Boss”. Music elevates us from “Mom on a Sandwich Run” to punk rock “Music Critic”. And, when you stumble across a band who makes you feel like you’re watching a big stadium show while in a room that allows you to enjoy it from three feet away, you know that you are part of something special!
– 13 Stitches Magazine